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Antoinette Brown Lecture

Cancelled due to inclement weather. We look forward to rescheduling the lecture later this fall.

Vanderbilt University Divinity School announces the 44th annual

A N T O I N E T T E     B R O W N     L E C T U R E

to be delivered by

Thelathia "Nikki" Young, Ph.D.

Nikki Young

Assistant Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Religion

Bucknell University


Thursday, March 22, 2018
7:00 p.m.
Benton Chapel
Vanderbilt University Divinity School


Willful  Behavior, Inherent Value, and Moral Imagination: The Making of a Black Queer Ethic

As the 2018 Antoinette Brown Lecturer, Dr. Young will deliver the lecture titled, “Willful Behavior, Inherent Value, and Moral Imagination: The Making of a Black Queer Ethic.” We find ourselves in the midst of a neoliberal resurgence of moral depravity, and many of us are searching for new (or old) ways forward. To contribute to such a search, this lecture explores the connection between womanist theo-ethical moral frameworks, black feminist political perspectives, and a queer afrofuturity underwritten by black queer imaginative work. The question on which I base the quest is this: What moral possibilities exist beyond the doors of liberation, and what might we need to unlock (or break down) to find them?

Thelathia "Nikki" Young is assistant professor of women's and gender studies and religion at Bucknell University. She received her Ph.D. from Emory University, M.Div. and Th.M. from Candler School of Theology, and B.A. from UNC-Asheville. Her research focuses on the intersection of ethics, family, race, gender, and sexuality, and she is specifically interested in the impact of queerness on moral reasoning. Nikki is the convener of the LGBT and Queer Studies Group within the Society for Christian Ethics, co-chair of the Queer Studies in Religion Group in the American Academy of Religion, and chair of the LGBTIQ Persons in the Profession Task Force in AAR.  Her first monograph, Black Queer Ethics, Family, and Philosophical Imagination, was published in 2016 by Palgrave Macmillan. Nikki recently finished a collaborative book with Eric Barreto and Jake Myers called In Tongues of Mortals and Angels: A De-Constructive Theology of God-Talk in Acts and Paul, which will be published in the Spring by Fortress Press. She is also currently working on  a new solo book project, tentatively titled Home Free: A Transnational Ethics of Black Queer Liberation.


Souls A Fire

Vanderbilt Divinity School and the Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality are partnering with the Center for Gay and Lesbian Studies at the Pacific School of Religion to co-host their bi-annual Souls A’ Fire Conference, a national gathering for Black, queer theology and scholarship.  

The CLGS' African-American Roundtable announces Souls A' Fire 6, a symposium of queer African American scholars who will explore issues relating to the intersections of Black Church and LGBTQ identities. Come join us for this academic conference which will include soul-stirring worship!

Visit the Souls A' Fire Website For More Info & Conference Registration